tv Reel America Fall of the Berlin Wall NBC News Special Reports - 1989 CSPAN November 9, 2019 10:01am-11:01am EST
the making of the new germany 1989 to the present. we appreciate your time this morning. if you would like to learn more about the fall of the berlin wall starting right now on c-span three, a series of nbc news special reports that cover the breaking news that day. a spokesman for east berlin's communist party announced citizens were free to cross the border for the first time since the dawn of program for nbc news special report.
the official statement has eased german citizens have the right across from east germany into west germany. thousands,of the tens of thousands of east germans going west have had to pastor other communist nations, most of them passing through chaska -- czechoslovakia. now they have the right to go directly to west germany. dennis murphy is in berlin right now and has been following the events. what more do you know about this startling decision? seriesy astonishing in a of events that have happened the last few days and hours. in the last five minutes on television here in west berlin and the eased, the germans east and west, speaking for the government, the media spokesman said are no more borders, that east germans may cross to the west over whatever existing border frontiers there are. that eliminates the route to
czechoslovakia. we have been following to the last few days, the hundreds of thousands of east germans leaving via that route. that is no longer necessary. what we have here in effect is a berlin wall which is a symbol but -- the frontiers themselves are open. he says in the next few weeks, there will be some provisional time to prepare the legislation to make this all correct and constitutional. what we have seen in the last few hours is the collapse of all of the borders between east and west germany. >> as you said, that divided the two sides of the cities is a symbol. but as far as you know, will that wall itself along the brandenburg gate near check port public, the open for east germans? >> as we read the words that were read to the people here tonight, that is correct. all of the checkpoints we know,
checkpoint charlie and the others, those days will be open. it remains to be seen how the news will be taken here in the next few hours but they're very grim facade of the wall, with all of the dogs and guards, this is only a symbol at this point because the gates will be open according to what the people were told on television tonight. >> we're just getting a bulletin coming from east berlin telling us what you reported, the eased german spokesman says the new announcement means the new order means people can pass through the berlin wall itself from east berlin to west berlin. these developments coming as the communist leadership and authorities have been under because ofpressure the tens of thousands fleeing. as of this evening, they can leave whenever they want and however they want. you will have further developments out the afternoon and a full report this evening on nbc nightly news from tom
brokaw who is in east berlin today. that is the news for now. >> this has been in nbc news special report. we interrupt this program for an nbc news special report. here is garrick atlee. informatione latest coming to us from east germany where short while ago government officials made the startling announcement that east german citizens will have the right to leave their country to travel directly to west germany were to west berlin. it will no longer be necessary for east germans to travel to other communist nations such as hungary, poland, or czechoslovakia. that is the route that tens of thousands have been taking the last several weeks. the announcement was made by the spokesman. the government has been under very heavy pressure from the new political opposition and from
the tens of thousands leaving the country. here is how it was made on eased german this evening. german this evening. the announcer says the communist leadership has decided to draw up a new travel law that until that law has been passed by the eased german parliament, east germans will have the right to pointshrough all border between east and west germany, including east berlin and west berlin. that announcement was made at the news conference which concluded just a few minutes ago in east berlin. wall of all, the berlin concrete and barbed wire and minefields still stands but as of right now it appears to be nothing more than a symbol of the old iron curtain because they will now have the right to leave through the wall directly into west berlin it itself. they will have to have visas to
go out but in order was given today to the police authority along the border to issue those visas to anyone who wants to leave and issue them quickly. to wrap up again, the east german government has filed an increasing pressure from its own citizenry demanding greater freedom, as of right now they have that freedom to leave their country legally to come to the west. we will have more information as it comes to us throughout the afternoon from east berlin and this evening tom brokaw will be reporting rightly from east berlin at nbc nightly news. >> this has been an nbc news special report. we interrupt this program for an nbc news special report. >> we are continuing to follow developments in east germany short while ago as you may know
the commonest leaders announced their opening their border between east and west germany from east berlin to west berlin the berlin wall itself. that announcement, surprising and important announcement, can the chiefnoon made by official spokesman of the communist party. tom brokaw is in east berlin at this moment. he was covering that news conference. give us the details. >> it was a surprise because it came at the end of a likely news conference whose the east berlin communist party chief. it was almost by accident he told the a similar reporters they recommended this afternoon and it is about to become formal government policy that any east german citizen who wants to leave this country temporarily or permanently will be able to do so by going through the many checkpoints of the berlin wall by crossing the borders into the west. he will no longer be necessary to go to hungary or
czechoslovakia to get out of here. dissolves the berlin wall, although, it will remain standing physically. >> it has been standing there since 1961. we are familiar with the pictures of the tens of thousands of east germans who have been coming to west germany the last several weeks and months. is one of the ideas the east germans have that this could ease the pressure on them by giving east germans the right to leave directly to the west? >> there are two intentions, two strategies here. theis have got to relieve burden on czechoslovakia. that is the cover tonight. the underlying motivation is the communist party hopes this will demonstrate its good intentions, his determination to reform this country. it has been trying everything as you know in the last several weeks, including throwing out todayrdliners card promising free elections,
recognizing opposition parties. tonight, this dramatic announcement that the wall in after nearly 30 years is coming down. >> thank you. we look forward to your report this evening from berlin on nbc nightly news. reaction starting to come in from washington, from the bush administration. secretary of state jim baker had this to say about the east german declaration. >> is seems to me would be apposite but development and should be one that we should welcome if indeed the announcement means that they have open the border to free travel. we have been talking for a long time about freedom of travel as being a basic human right. we have been talking for a long time about open borders. and we've been talking for a long time about the importance of seeing the wall come down. i don't know what this announcement means because i have not seen it yet. in terms of its full impact. but if they are indeed opening their borders, i think that is a
positive development. >> jim baker. out what allure this means. this could concern the administration things may be going too far, too fast. >> this is not necessarily a happy development because what it means is there is now great instability. we have seen east german government try one strategy after another to deal with this, but there was a period of instability. diplomacy basically does not like instability. remember your history, the assassination as sarajevo, a small event in itself, eventually touched off world war i. the decision made by the east germans today should and will be welcome as the fact the wall has been opened up. >> i think the thing that will welcome the most is the fact it may now lens the boil and let off some of the pressure so you don't have such instability in east germany that eventually
there might be clashes between citizens and the police. >> all of this is happening just a few weeks before the summit conference between bush and gorbachev in the mediterranean. exciting times. thank you very much. fred francis who covers military matters is standing by with the pentagon's view of what is happening today. >> in the last hour, i've spoken to several senior military officials in this building, both civilian and military. they are quite frankly awestruck by this. one of them who has been deeply involved in looking ahead a year or two on what u.s. military cuts would mean in europe on the budgets said consider the impact of the u.s. military in europe without walls, consider the impact of u.s. budget in europe where there is no credible threat of war. and those are significant numbers. right now there are 770,000 u.s. americans -- americans in europe , threaded 20,000 assigned in 300,000diers, another
dependents of civilians, 150,000 civilians working there. an extraordinary number. it amounts to approximately $170 billion a year of u.s. taxpayers money. if there is a europe without a credible threat of war, with a warsaw pact that it cannot mount an attack on the west, than is there the need for all of these troops? those are the numbers and the surprising calculations that are going on in this building today. >> thank you very much. those are very important, exciting questions to face. we are not there yet. where we are right now on this thursday in november is the east german government, the comet's leaders have decided to open their borders as of tomorrow morning. any east german citizen can lead to the west of his or her own choosing through the border or even through the berlin wall itself. hard to believe, but that is the news of today stop this evening tom brokaw will be reporting
on nbc natalie news. news. natalie >> a special report. about achev talks common home. is the respect for that? probably so. >> [indiscernible] is no indication of that. these are germans. >> what is the danger of this spinning out of control? secretary baker commented on how expected thisody to happen as quickly as it did. is there a danger things are accelerating too quickly? >> i would not want to say this things development makes moving too quickly at all.
the kind of development we would want encouraged by our strong support. pontificateg to that if anything goes to fast -- we are handling it in a way to give are not trying anybody a hard time. who canaluting those move forward with democracy. we are encouraging the concept of a europe, pulling-free. we welcome it. i don't like to go into a lot of hypothesis about too much change or to rapid change or what i would do, what our whole team here would do if something went wrong. handled byis being
the west very well. and certainly, salute the people in east germany whose aspirations for freedom seem to be a little further down the road now. >> [indiscernible] >> i don't think anyone can resist it in europe or in the western hemisphere. that is one of the great things about dynamic change in central america. moving in our direction. >> did you ever imagine anything like this happening -- >> on your watch? >> with imagine this, but i can't say i foresaw this development at this stage. i did not foresee it, but imagining it? yes. when i talked about a europe whole and free, we are talking
, thisthis kind of freedom kind of staying with and living by the helsinki act which gives people the right to come and go. >> in what you just said, for the great victory for our side in the east-west battle, but you don't seem elated. i'm wondering if you're thinking of the problems -- >> [indiscernible] i am very pleased. i have been pleased with a lot of other developments. as i told you, i think the united states part of this, which is not related to this development today particularly, is being handled in a proper fashion. that willve some suggest more flamboyant courses of action for this country. i think we are handling this properly with allies, staying in close touch.
in this dynamic change, try to help as the veltman takes place, try to enhance form both political and economic. the fact that i'm not bubbling over, maybe it is getting long for the evening because i feel very good about it. whate second part of that, are we going to do [indiscernible] obviously, if they just fled into west germany, they are handling it now, but they only have 200,000. what if they get one million? what if they get 2 million? >> what i would like to think is the gdr -- we will catch up very fast with this liberation, if you will. you may remember that before i went to poland, i don't know whether jim baker was sitting next to me. i was asked by a polish journalist if i were a young
pole, what would my advice be? what i said was, i think you ought to stay there and participate in this dramatic change from your country. you ought to feel the surge of freedom, feel the move toward democracy, and be a part of it. and these are germans. and germans love their country. and at some point, i think a lot felt unable to move are going to say, look, we can move, but wouldn't be better to participate in the reforms that are taking place in our own country? thesek it is too early -- openings are there. that means everybody is going to take off. >> [indiscernible]
>> that your side is winning, is that the kind of thing you're going to communicate to him? we faced it differently. we set a europe hole and free. when you see citizens wanting to go and flee what has been an oppressive society, clearly, that is a message mr. gorbachev will understand. he sees it not only in eastern europe, but inside the soviet union. before these developers took place, i have said we would be discussing a rapid change inside eastern europe. and we have been talking about that today, just before you all came in here. we have been talking about the gorbachev meeting. and one of the things that we are determined we will discuss, and i know he will want to discuss, is change.
clubs mr. president, do that maybe east germans will want to stay and participate in reforming their country -- that is suggesting an reunification is some ways. what is your view? >> i do not see they are related. >> [indiscernible] >> i think it is way too early to speak on that. i have spoken out on the question of german reunification. the president of france spoke out. i've heard what the chancellor has had to say about it. michael, i don't know if the development of today speeds up the day or not. >> mr. president -- >> discussing a wide array of those subjects. we will be prepared to talk about it. >> [indiscernible] >> i would like to talk to him soon, but he is off in poland.
, try to get him there. i talked to him quite recently. >> have you talked any of the others? >> no. >> [indiscernible] >> we might want to talk about it. clubs president george bush speaking just moments ago from the oval office on the surprise announcement from the government of east germany that there were opening their borders, all of their borders to the west, giving the east german people freedom to travel where they wish as long as they wish for the first time since the berlin wall was erected in 1961. early on in that news conference, president bush was referring to west german chancellor helmut kohl who has just left for a trip to poland, left before the surprise announcement was made was to west germany has been besieged by refugees. 200,000 of them over the last
several weeks. 50,000 of them since saturday alone. the u.s. pentagon has announced that it has agreed to temporarily provide emergency housing for about close to 1000 of the east germans flooding into the west. there is a lot more reaction in washington. robert is standing by. >> mary alice, as you cannot imagine -- as you can imagine, everybody is talking about this. vice president danko called reporters into his office at the old exec of office building and said events and east germany were not moving too fast. in fact, he said the sooner the better. there was a flurry on the senate floor with several senators speaking out. the majority leader george several senators speaking out. the majority leader george mitchell of maine said it was a step the east germans had to take. let's listen to that now. >> today's decision not an act of democracy, not an act to
please or placate the west, but a desperate act of survival by the east german government to permit their people to leave, represents the symbolic destruction of the berlin wall. >> there was a contrasting reaction from the minority leader bob dole of kansas. a statement on the senate floor that was restrained. turnlk of reelections can out to be nothing more than talk. with deadwood remove. seven of the 11 members are holdovers from the old bureau and they are undoubtedly still powerful forces which will see all of the recent irrelevant as abhorrent. thisis wasn't afternoon -- was an afternoon when they passed the spending bill, which produced a lot of debate about military spending in the house and included the and that is a lot of money for high-tech military items. later, two congressmen of
different stripes, liberal democrat ron dellums and conservative republican john kasich, both offer the same view , questioning why are we spending all this money on high-tech military items when things like this are going on in central europe? mary alice? >> thank you, bob. nato is also very concerned about this. remember the berlin wall put up in 1961 has shaped the policies of whole generation. john cochran is standing by at the white house with more reaction. >> i was struck by how low-key the president was, how cautious, how prudent. a couple of reasons why he did not appear more elated and public about the announcement of the past two days in east germany. first of all, he doesn't want to gloat. he has a meeting coming up on the second of december with gorbachev. the worst thing he knows he could do is to gloat and embarrass gorbachev as they prepare for their talks. secondly, it is a little early
to gloat. east germans are not out yet. there are still some in east germany. this could all turn around. at the last moment, you could see these german commonest party decide they've tried everything else, tried to institute reforms, they will crack down and use force. that is a possibility. george bush is not counting his chickens too early. he is the cautious president. >> we have talked about this being a gamble. we have talked about it being a gamble by gorbachev. theyou determine which one president views as being the mover and shaker behind this action today? >> the feeling is none of this would've happened if gorbachev did not exist. there's also the feeling that gorbachev, he would not tolerate, would not support a itckdown, police slugging out in the streets. that would not be tarp rated --
tolerated. there are people in the white house, people who don't trust gorbachev, who pointed out from time to time the soviet union still see the kgb knocking heads in the streets of moscow. the feeling here is that gorbachev is ultimately responsible for what is happening. as i say, this feeling isn't complete victory. they're not saying the iron curtain is definitely down yet, mary alice. >> we interrupt this program for an nbc news special report. here is mary alice williams. >> astonishing events today unfolding in east germany. the berlin wall that separated east and west and shaped the politics of a generation is no longer a barrier to freedom. the east german government in a surprise announcement today said its borders to the west would be open, its people given the right to travel freely anywhere they want for as long as they want. for the first time since the
berlin wall was erected in 1961. with us now from san antonio, westerman ambassador -- west german ambassador. your reaction to these amazing events? >> is a pleasure to be with you. i think it is breathtaking events for us. i've not heard the details yet on how this new permission to travel from gdr, from east germany to west germany is going to be shaped, but i think it has been a demand from the east germans as well as from our side for a long time that there will be an opportunity to travel freely from east germany to west germany. if that comes about, i think this is going to be a very important and remarkable step. i share your opinion. i think it will reduce the importance of the wall. it will punch a hole into the berlin wall.
and let me add, i think these steps are being taken that may be an encouragement for the seeans in gdr that they reforms are taking place, and it might encourage them to stay in east germany and to see how and when and how quickly these reforms are taking place in east germany. >> just in the past six weeks, mr. ambassador, 200,000 east germans have fled, most of them to your country, putting a terrible strain on your infrastructure and your economy. in the short-term, how can west germany handle what is expected to be an even larger flow of refugees? >> i think the compatriots in the federal republic of germany have received the refugees with great emotional welcome and was solidarity. indeed, the growing number of refugees creates growing problems.
so far, we have been able to find employment for quite a few of them. the good state of the economy helps. we have had about 300,000 positions beginning of this week, but housing is a growing concern and a growing problem. reformss important that take place in east germany. and my government has said if these reforms take place, we are willing to do very thoughounds a bit as you're asking east germans to stay where they are? it sounds as though you are asking east german citizens to stay where they are and not come to the west? >> no, we have always said that that is their decision to take. .hey are very welcome they will receive a passport and they will receive all of the support we can give them.
recall after 45 we have over 10 million refugees. even if the number keeps growing that is a magnitude we keep growing. we are doing her best to cope with the situation. mary alice: you are saying you will continue to allow as many east germans to come into your country. how can west germany handle that ? can extend our cooperation. we have very good corporation in the economic field, it in industrial. the environmental problem, cleaning the rivers, cleaning the air. .e have artan ships with cities
all of these different areas can be extended considerably if these reforms take place. your government announced that the wall should be taken down as soon as tomorrow. do you think it should be taken down? >> progress is significant. wehink the main point is will have this -- the largest impediment of movement from east to west germany. i think this is a very remarkable step if this can be brought about. mr. ambassador, thank you for being with us. the west german ambassador speaking to us from san diego. nbc will keep you updated on these developments and tom
brokaw will be reporting on nbc nightly news in berlin. i am mary alice williams. this has been an nbc news special report. fore interrupt this program an nbc news special report. here is mary alice williams. mary alice: east germany decided to reverse a decades old policy and let its people go. any border,verse including the one was west germany, including the berlin wall. president bush has applauded the announcement and the dramatic development but the president has said that he does not think any single event is the end of the iron curtain. robert hager is standing by in washington. bob?
acting the president cautiously before he called white house to the to make his off-the-cuff statement. you hear him making reference to the gdr, the formal name for east germany. here is what the president had to say. this wallbush: building -- fault -- this wall 1961 -- it is clearly a very good development in terms of human rights and i must say after discussing this with the secretary of state, i am very .leased with this development through the open border, it is manyhard to predict how
will be trying to leave. it's a dynamic development. notrt: the president did think that any single event and of the iron curtain. the president asked about his low-key demeanor. he insisted he was elated and said to the reporters, i'm just not an emotional kind of guy. mary alice? mary alice: presidential marlon fitzwater said earlier all of the allies are standing by watching. the pentagon has agreed to temporarily house of to 1000 refugees who have landed in east germany. helmut kohl has called for to discuss the political crisis. he diminished the size of the politburo, urged
new elections, promised laws on freedom of assembly, freedom of association, and freedom of the press. the west spoke with german ambassador to the united states and he indicated that a major flow of refugees is going to be a problem. >> so far we have been able to find employment were quite a few of them. we have had about 300,000 this globalut housing is a concern and a growing problem. it is important that reforms take place in east germany. my government has said if these reforms take place we will have very substantial help and support for these reforms. mary alice: at the brandenburg gate, we have martin fletcher
standing by. martin, what is the mood of the people? jubilant. west berliners have come here for hours now, shouting at the east german border guard to let the people go, to break the wall down. candlese been lighting in memory of the east germans who have died trying to escape. that will no longer be necessary. to belice: details need worked out, for example, visas for those who simply want to visit as opposed to immigration. martin: most east germans to not have passed warts or travel papers. it will take time and they in westmoreland berlin a lot of west berliners to come across. what about the
economic ramifications on west germany for taking all of these germans in? is interesting. most of those who have come across have been semiskilled or skilled and a great boon to the workforce. there has been some competition among those in west germany looking for refugees. there has been a lot of goodwill. mary alice: are there suggestions in the west german government that they should stay there and watch the democracy movement grow rather than immigrating to the west? yes, it's an irony. for years the east germans up and calling on the west german government. they have been coming in such large numbers that the west germans are getting worried and they are calling on the east germans to put their house in order. and they are calling on those
leaving saying, finally we have a chance to reform our society. don't leave. help work it out. mary alice: how serious is the refugee problem? martin: pretty serious. there are germans who have come through czechoslovakia and hungary. many refugees have come here. there's always been a maser -- a major housing shortage. it is a welcome problem, if you like. mary alice: thank you, martin. there are extraordinary ramifications, not only for the political stability of germany, defense problems of america. all of the is no doubt, will be talking points at the bush-gorbachev summit next month. i am mary alice.
alice williams. tonight on abc news, tom brokaw will be reporting from west berlin. >> the tonight show with johnny carson and late night with david letterman will be seen in their entirety following this nbc news special report. [cheering] tonight.erlin of germansusands pouring into westworld in. not waiting for special visas or daybreak. they are still coming. >> this is an nbc special report. this is garrick utley. rick: shortly before the dawn of a new day, a day that will in this order open to all east germany. this is 5:30 a.m. berlin time.
these crowds have been up all night, celebrating the opening theof the wall, welcoming tens of thousands of east germans coming across to the west. good evening. we are truly privileged tonight. we are eyewitnesses to history. who on either side of the berlin wall or in this country would have believed this morning this day would end the way it has? and with the symbol of the the divisionurope, of the free world. that is the result of a stunning surprise decision, the announcement that east germans may now leave their country and cross directly into east germany , even through the berlin wall. wait to they could not test their new freedom. reaching outrmans despite armans,
barrage of water cannons. years, the wall has been a part of berlin life, a given, something that was just there. today -- tonight, it symbolizes something else, the failure of the government to resist change and the sound of freedom, the chipping away of the wall is itself. what we are witnessing this of theis the euphoria evidence. earlier i spoke with tom brokaw and corresponded mike bets are wall. western side of the tom, i doubt if any of you watching the scene believed it was happening. talk to us about what you have
been experiencing. has been a very giddy day. the remarkable thing is the east announcedmunist party this almost as an accident. then when the word began to spread throughout east and west , than control was lost on both sides. the people came here and effectively lost control of the ball. when theon these side east german kids started to climb the wall. no one thought the east germans would be able to cross over. you looked over and all of a sudden, several hundred east germans are running and they just would not stop. they ran up to the wall. they started pulling them up by
the hundreds. -- tom: and we are told they can move through all of the checkpoints very easily. the question is, what will this mean for the east german ?ommunist party will it be the undoing of the party? that will play out in the next several weeks, months, maybe as long as a year. do you have any idea of the numbers that might be coming through that wall? are west berliners prepared? tom: frankly, this whole thing handled moment by moment. i don't think anyone is prepared for that at all. they may lose as many as a million people in east germany, but many of them will come back
and there will be a chance to revive the country. there could be an enormous outpouring from east germany out curiosity of nothing else. the city will be besieged. one young man said earlier tonight, i just want to take -- a walk across and see what it is like. guardwas an east german who said, this is not good for us. we could lose our jobs. they were still having to check the visas and then suddenly after 28 years, it came to a sudden halt. thank you very much. we will follow events as they continue to unfold. the wall is itself. how did it get there and why? 1961. east germany was slowly bleeding
to death. as now, east germany across the us communist leaders were desperate and suddenly it was there on that august morning of 1961. it did not look like a wall at first. fence.just a barge wire later, there would be watchtowers and minefields. of berlin was also the division of a country and a continent. forcesn and soviet stared each other down, but neither side opened fire. that asonic, but true the communists felt more secure europe grew wall, more stable and peaceful, that
at a price. all these years the people have aid for their decision to build the wall, to hold onto their power. now, today, the people have the freedom for which they waited so long and which their leaders have grudgingly granted. there have been protests in the streets, several dozen resignations. today was the most dramatic of all. we go through the dramatic moments. came just for a visit. they all walked into the heart of history as the barriers to east germany came down. >> i have waited for this moment my whole life. >> west german police forces say a confidential agreement cleared this crossing as the first
breach in the wall. but soon, east germans crowded through other checkpoints. no visas, no passports. for some, no intention to go .ome west berlin's mayor appealed for call home. berliners will come to terms with the joys and the worries of this unexpected embrace. >> on one hand it is happiness. on the other, many problems are brought to us.
it was a night for a divided nation to come together again. we watch these remarkable scenes from east and west berlin, they have announced that friday morning, anyone leaving east germany to the west can go first without obtaining a visa. of 8 a.m. tomorrow, they have to have a visa. anyone who wants one can get one. for the past 28 years, when it has not been possible to cross bridges or escape that wall, people have tried to escape any way they could. their efforts were a testimony often toingenuity and their desperation. at first it was a tug-of-war between the oppressor and the
desire for freedom. this woman made it. many more did not. almost 200 east germans died for theo cross the wall long border between east and west germany. for each person fleeing, there was that moment of terror when he or she was a target for the border guards. but still they came. well laid plans worked. the attempt was successful. but we should not forget those .ho tried and failed in 1962, and nbc news documentary showed a tunnel under the wall. every six feet, two uprights and a 4 x 4 that held up the wooden ceiling. the man with the beard was a refugee himself. he fled east germany after four
and a half years in a communist prison. is twisting to fill the space. 14, theyay, september make their last inspection. , the builders of another tunnel had broken through and looked up into the eyes and gun barrels of communist release. some were killed and some were captured. in 10 minutes, the refugees would come. greatest not the danger. the camps could be worse. one watched his daughter came through and then his wife. he escaped from east germany the year before. his wife spent 10 months in a
communist prison for trying to follow him and their second child was born in jail. tonight for the first time he held his baby. garrick: that was back in 1962. in the next quarter century, 30 now -- 39,000 others reached the concrete with orders to shoot to kill. the past two years, the iron curtain began to rupture. more than 250 rows and swarmed into the west. some immigrated here to the united states. for them especially, what happened today has special meaning. ♪ >> there could not have been a better night.
all over the united states, those who fled germany found joy and comfort in today's historic developments. was the memory for the german students who were not born when the wall divided her country. she came to the united states from east berlin and her family still lives there. the sadness of change is overwhelming. is an extremely exciting thing to happen. you are here, and history is being made. i am so glad i did not kick the bucket yet. >> the two germanys were never really the homeland. suddenly, this is part of our world again. like the china wall.
again andople like us the past and in some ways present again. today, the luncheon with the portland german-american society. the borders to east germany .re open >> if you told me a week ago this was possible, i never would -- believed it. our people, our family. ♪ piano,then around the they saying a haunting version the national anthem of
germany. nbc news. berlin: for years, the wall has been held up as a symbol of the failure of .ommunism a place where the leaders of the free world could owe and challenge the leaders of the other side and not think about what they would do if the wall were to come down. here are voices from the past rid president reagan: yes, this wall will fall for it cannot withstand faith. it cannot withstand the truth. it cannot withstand freedom. kennedy: some will say communism is the wave of the future. let them come to berlin. this generation of germans has ,arned the right to be free
including the right to unite their families. all.goodwill to all -- to all people. enslaved,n one man is that are free. we are citizens of berlin. therefore as a free man, i take pride in the words ich bin ein berliner. [cheering] personaland now, a note, if i may. many years ago as a young course and i lived in west berlin and every morning as i awoke, the first site to greet me was east berlin, the brandenburg gate, and the wall.
in one morning as i stood at the window of my apartment i had a terrible thought. how easy it was for one to become accustomed to the wall. ,t became part of the landscape part of your life. how wonderful it will be for east and west berliners to open their curtains tomorrow morning, see the wall and no it no longer separates them. i guess i always thought 1968 would the the most memorable year of my journalistic career. king, theartin luther invasion of jekyll's evocative. but 1989. think what we have witnessed. tiananmen square, the democracy movement not yet dead. it may be on the run, but it is not yet dead. and what is going on on both sides of this wall. the climax that has happened
here today. the wall has come down. i mean physically as well. men and women on top of the wall tonight taking it down, symbolically because realistically it had been taken down by the people in the last eight hours or so. eastare taking this wall to west and west to east. they are being joined as freedom loving people and no wall can stand in their way. it is a night to remember. garrick: thank you, tom. finally, we take a certain journalistic pride in the coverage of the wall. on the day that the wall went up, and even brinkley was there at the brandenburg gate. , tom and the rest of the nbc team will provide you with full coverage.
. am garrick utley this is nbc news. >> this has been an nbc news special work. we now join the program already in progress. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] the berlin wall came down. there will be an anniversary program. guests include the -- steve who cover the fall of >> american history tv products are available at the new c-span online store. go to c-span store.org to see what is new for american history tv and check out all of the c-span products. ♪ order.house will be in
beenr 40 years, c-span has giving you unfiltered coverage of public policy events from washington, d.c. and around the world so you can make up your own mind. created in 1979 by cable, it is brought to you by your local cable or satellite provider. c-span, your unfiltered view. next, former secretary of state james baker recounts his time as the country's top diplomat. he served in the george h.w. bush administration during the time of the fall of the berlin wall. rubenstein atvid diplomacy center foundation in washington, d.c. >>